Tag Archives: Greater Houston Ministerial Association

JFK: “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute…”

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Image of John F KennedyIn 1960 when questions about John F. Kennedy’s religion came up, he gave a speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. Although given 50 years ago, it still seems it should apply to politics today. I wish it would.
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Palin’s new book misses the point about JFK church and state speech

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A recent article by Joel Connelly for Seattlepi.Com touched on a surprising target in Sarah Palin’s new book – President John F. Kennedy. It seems Sister Sarah complains about JFK’s famous speech given to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960 which was meant to calm fears the protestant majority had about the Catholic presidential candidate. It seems Palin would have fit in very well back then just as she currently questions the religious beliefs of our current President. JFK’s words make the same point they did in 1960. Too bad she fails to see the point.

Palin takes out after a defining Kennedy speech, the 1960 appearance where the Catholic presidential nominee discussed separation of church and state before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association.

Kennedy’s speech “essentially declared religion to be such a private matter that it was irrelevant to the kind of country we are,” declares Palin, and Kennedy “seemed to run away from his religion.”

John F. Kennedy: One more Sarah Palin villain

As Connelly points out:

Running away? Nonsense. Kennedy was promising to use the intellect and conscience that God had given him, and to obey his oath of office to uphold the Constitution.

The words ring loud today, when groups define themselves as “Values Voters” — as if others are not. The appeal for brotherhood resonates in an America where TV talking heads question people’s loyalty to country based on the city or region where they live.

Of course, Kennedy defined a president’s religious views as private, in the context that faith is “neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.”

Yes, Sister Sarah misses JFK’s point and proves why the speech in 1960 was needed and why she needs to study the words again and discuss it someone who understands English.